With temperatures expected to reach 34C this week, it’s important to remember that hot weather can pose a health risk. Many of those most at risk from the heat are also at greater risk of severe illness due to coronavirus and may need to spend more time at home than they would usually.
Therefore, it’s especially important that you know how to keep yourself and others safe from high temperatures. There are some simple precautions you can take to ensure you enjoy a safe and healthy summer.
Stay cool at home
Many of us will need to spend more time at home this summer to reduce the spread of coronavirus. To help keep yourself cool, shade or cover windows during the day and open them at night once temperatures have dropped. Turn off the heating, lights and electrical equipment when not in use. Only use electric fans if no one in the house is unwell with coronavirus symptoms.
Hot weather can increase the symptoms of exhaustion and dehydration, especially for the elderly, babies and children, and people with health issues such as diabetes or high blood pressure - so it’s very important to stay hydrated and avoid excess alcohol.
Keeping hydrated is especially important for people who are unwell with coronavirus symptoms or recovering from illness.
Protect your skin
To protect your skin from sun damage it is vital to regularly apply sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30. You should also spend time in the shade when the sun is at its strongest – usually between 11am and 3pm in the UK. Extra care should be taken to protect babies and children.
Look out for others
Make sure to check up on family, friends and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves, especially if they are self-isolating. Remember to follow the latest coronavirus government guidance whilst looking after others.
If you or someone you know becomes unwell, e.g. with heat exhaustion or heatstroke, visit NHS 111 online or call 111 if you cannot get online.
For more summer health tips visit the NHS website.